As a fan of most types of lettering and typography I became interested in Pixacao and the culture surrounding it. ‘Pixacao: Sao Paulo Signature’ is a great book which documents the Picacao culture. As I also do some illustration you can see in some of my pieces that the lettering is influenced by this
style, like in my ‘Big Coats and Gold Ropes’ design (On my other site!). Pixacao is a style of graffiti originating in South America which originally started around 1940’s but died out for a while and had resurgence in the 1980’s.
Like any other form of writing the Pixadores will form their own varying styles of alphabets often with many of the letters being based on heavy metal album covers. South America has one of the most extreme distributions of wealth where favelas are right next to wealthy gated guarded communities. Most of the writers are from the slum areas and use Pixacao to get their voices and political messages heard. As well as this they will compete to get the highest spots and will climb many storeys up the outsides of buildings to paint.
“Sao Paulo Signature” is a great book which explains the culture and has examples of the different styles. I bought this book back in 2009 and it seems to be harder to get hold of these days (Amazon link) but is well worth keeping an eye out for.
The film Pixadores explains the culture well, here’s the trailer…